CITY DIARY

Anyone who drives around a ring of plastic, as they do in the City, is likely to harbour a secret desire for some speed and testing S-bends. Would-be Formula One dreamers should head for a Daytona Raceway- style track in Paternoster Square on 6 July for a spot of Go-karting. Not normally seen in the City, the event has slipped in to the square while it awaits re-development.

Each team of four needs to raise pounds 2,500 for the British Heart Foundation through sponsorship and needs to get through two one-hour endurance races followed by a 15-minute final. Would-be Mansells should contact John Trotter at the Lord Mayor's Appeal Office.

Hot on the heels of former Barings trader Nick Leeson being denied his request for bail comes a survey that says women make better financial traders than men. The findings, in next month's issue of Cosmopolitan, that well-known centre of financial expertise, reveal that women traders are more reliable and responsible than men doing this work - and, perhaps more relevantly, are more likely to close a position when they need to. The magazine claims that the number of female fund managers has grown 70-fold since 1983.

Analysts and institutional fund managers should be grateful for the success of the new economic stabilisation plan introduced in Brazil last year. Cigarette sales are well up as a result. BAT, the tobacco-to-financial services organisation, sells a whopping 100 billion cigarettes to the Brazilians out of its worldwide sales of 570 billion. It comes as no surprise to learn that BAT's biennial, five-day junket for analysts and institutional fund managers should be to the centre of world smoke consumption - a visit to Souza Cruz, BAT's Brazilian subsidiary. Michael Prideaux, director of public affairs at BAT, justified the destination and duration of the trip by saying the company wanted to show analysts one of its main markets and demonstrate how margins would improve this year. Not a great deal of puff will be required for such a taxing schedule.

Almost reached a flagon-full of Firkin suggestions. Latest contenders include a few far-fetched F adjuncts. The Few & Far Between & Firkin for that lonely hostelry miles from anywhere, and The Far Better Thing That I Do Now & Firkin to be found in the Dickens of a place. For those situated near the racecourse, the Furlong & Firkin, and the Film & Firkin for Leicester Square. Decision time on Tuesday.

Philip Green, one-time chairman and chief executive of Amber Day, owner of the discount store What Everyone Wants, is expanding his retailing interests. The entrepreneur with a phone fixation, once quoted as saying his greatest strength was good vision and timing, has snapped up 16 of the Storehouse group's One Up chain. The price: pounds 15.3m for the business and an estimated pounds 4.7m for the stock. Mr Green plans to merge them with an existing chain of discount stores called Xceptions.

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